After a training camp and preseason of nearly non-stop praise, John Brown almost had a bad day Sunday. Almost.
The promising rookie wide receiver started slowly against the Bengals before again showing his considerable talent, hauling in a 30-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter for his first career score. Brown had just a seven-yard reception on three targets in the first half, but finished with a team-high four catches for 56 yards in the 19-13 loss.
“It wasn’t a good night for me, but it was a great catch,” Brown said. “(Coach Bruce Arians) told me, ‘Now you can sleep
Brown ran a go route to the left side of the end zone and sprawled out to haul in the touchdown pass from quarterback
“I saw the defensive back playing up and the safety on the other side of the field,” Brown said. “I knew for sure it was coming to me. When I looked up I saw the ball, and I knew I had to get it.”
Brown’s mistakes came early -- most notably when he mistimed a jump and dropped a first-down catch from Palmer in the first quarter -- but his presence with the first team was a testament to his eye-opening play in the months since he was chosen in the draft’s third round.
“Every time I make a mistake I learn from it,” Brown said. “I’m just glad it happened. Next time you’ll see us and it won’t happen again.”
RUN DEFENSE REMAINS STOUT WITHOUT DOCKETT
The Cardinals played their first game without Pro Bowl defensive tackle
Cincinnati starter Giovani Bernard had 10 carries for only 17 yards. The Cardinals led the NFL in rush defense a year ago, and even though some of the pieces have changed, the output was similarly impressive on Sunday.
“Any team we face this year, because we finished first, they’re going to try to test what we’re really good at,” defensive end
Rucker started in Dockett’s place and finished with two tackles. He also hassled quarterback Andy Dalton into a pair of incompletions with his pass rush.
“The only thing I can do is be myself,” Rucker said. “I know I can play football. If you play well or don’t, (critics) will still have doubts, but I’ve just got to play consistently.”
The Cardinals forced an intentional grounding penalty on Dalton when linebacker
“I have no qualms about what we are going to be able to do against the run,” Arians said. “It’s being able to rush the passer that concerns me.”
ELLINGTON GETS THE ROCK
Ellington upped his workload against the Bengals, finishing with nine carries for 46 yards, a 5.1-yard average. He highlighted the effort with a 24-yard burst in the second quarter, hitting the edge quickly before cutting back up the middle.
“The one run, you see the explosion,” quarterback
“There’s like a turbocharged engine in there,” Veldheer said.
KICKER DUEL CONTINUES
“We missed a field goal, and other than that, the kickoffs were adequate,” Arians said. “Chandler’s were really solid.”
FOUR DO NOT DRESS